Hays Eagles: Hatching & Action at Duck Hollow

Female at Hays bald eagle nest, 21 March 2022, 06:58a (snapshot from the Hays bald eaglecam)

21 March 2022

Lots of news this morning!

At the Hays bald eagle nest the first pip was confirmed yesterday morning at 8:36am. You can see the pip in the video below. Watch the Hays bald eaglecam for the first egg to hatch today.

Six of us braved the drizzle yesterday morning at Duck Hollow and were rewarded with an exciting visit from one of the Hays bald eagles. Connie Gallagher captured part of the action in photos.

Fix participants at the Duck Hollow outing, 20 March 2022 (photo by Kate St. John)

It all began with two herring gulls on the mud spit, manipulating a large fish.

Two herring gulls with a big fish, 20 March 2022, 8:45am (photo by Connie Gallagher)

The gulls hadn’t made much progress opening the fish when they saw the male Hays bald eagle flying upriver toward Duck Hollow. All the waterbirds could tell the eagle wanted that fish. The ducks stayed put, the gulls quickly stashed the fish and flew up calling and complaining.

Hays bald eagle wanted that fish (photo by Connie Gallagher)

The eagle made three dropped-talon passes at the fish but it was too hard to grab in flight. Meanwhile the gulls divebombed him and chased him every time. That fish was stashed so tightly that the eagle would have to land to get it. But the gulls were relentlessly annoying.

Finally the eagle left and the gulls resumed their meal, watched by a crow.

Herring gulls resume their meal, 20 March 2022, 10am (photo by Connie Gallagher)

In all we saw 29 species including an odd mixed-up mallard who might be an “intersex hen.” Photos are on our checklist here.

So glad we went birding in the rain!

p.s. At the Cathedral of Learning peregrine nest, Morela laid her second egg this morning, 21 March, around 3am. You can see both eggs by the light of the moon. Watch the peregrines at the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh

Morela with two eggs, Cathedral of Learning peregrine nest, 21 March, 4am (snapshot from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

(photos by Kate St. John, Connie Gallagher and snapshot from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

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